Celeste E. Orr

Visiting Assistant Professor Gender and Sexuality Studies Department
Celeste Orr


Ph.D., Feminist & Gender Studies, University of Ottawa, 2018
     Degree with highest distinction
     Dissertation nominated (finalist) for Pierre Laberge Prize for best doctoral thesis in the Social Sciences
M.A., Cultural Studies & Critical Theory, McMaster University, 2013
M.A., Philosophy, Queen’s University, 2012
B.A., Philosophy & English Literature, 2011


Dr. Celeste E. Orr’s research is situated at the intersection of intersex, disability, and queer studies. They explore the complex discursive, political, and embodied connection between intersex and disability as well as compulsory dyadism and able-bodiedness. They ask: how do we understand and reconcile the contested meanings, responses to, and effects of intersex-and/as-disability? Orr interrogates and extends questions of the ever-shifting categorization of body-minds, culturally mandated ways of being, and (the haunting effects of) pathologization, trauma, and violence through an intersectional lens. Broadly speaking, Orr’s research interests include intersex studies, disability and mad studies, gender and queer theories, bio/ethics, sociology of medicine, and the processes of medicalization/pathologization.

Current projects include Cripping Intersex: Exorcisms and Compulsory Dyadism (forthcoming, University of British Columbia Press), a special issue of Feminist Theory, “Feminist Loneliness Studies,” co-edited with Dr. Shoshana Magnet, and Anticipated Violence and the Queer Subject (manuscript proposal accepted, Concordia University Press) co-authored with Dr. Nicholas Hrynyk.

Orr teaches classes pertaining to disability and health studies, intersex studies, feminist theories, and gender and sexuality studies. Their classes provide students with the opportunity to learn about, unlearn, and undermine the everyday power structures that naturalize unjust systems and violent hierarchies through collective acknowledgment, critical understanding, and active resistance.

Selected Publications

Orr, Celeste E. Forthcoming. “COVID-19 and In/Essential Intersex Medical Management.” In COVID, AND…Perspectives at the Intersections of Disease and Rhetoric, edited by Jennifer Malkowski, Allison Rowland, and Emily Winderman. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.

Orr, Celeste E., and Meg Peters. Forthcoming. “Introducing Mad Intersex Studies.” In Intersex Studies and the Health and Medical Humanities, edited by Katelyn Dykstra and Shoshannah Bryn Jones Square. London: Bloomsbury Press.

Orr, Celeste E., and Amanda D. Watson. 2021. “‘Usually the mother:’ Dilation and the medical management of intersex children.” In From Band-Aids to Scalpels: Motherhood Experiences in/of Medicine, edited by Rohini Bannerjee and Karim Mukhida, 65-83. Bradford: Demeter Press.

Orr, Celeste E. 2019. “Resisting the Demand to Stand: Boys, Bathrooms, Hypospadias, and Interphobic Violence.” Boyhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 12 (2): 89-113.

Orr, Celeste E., and Amanda D. Watson. 2018. “‘We changed her nappies. We saw that she was a girl.’ Caster Semenya’s Femininity and the Power of Maternal Testimony.” In Mothering, Mothers, and Sport: Experiences, Representations, Resistances, edited by Judy Battaglia, Rebecca Bromwich, and Pamela Redela, 15-48. Bradford: Demeter Press.

Orr, Celeste E. 2016. “(Liberatory) Reproductive Technologies and (Eugenic) Interphobic Selection.” In Connecting, Rethinking and Embracing Difference, edited by Anthony Gambrell, Debora Osborne, and Lawrence Buttigieg, 87-102. Oxford: Inter-disciplinary Press.

Courses Taught

GNDR103: Gender & Society
GNDR290: Gender & Feminist Theory
GNDR369: Making Sexualities
GNDR4024: Dis/Ability, Gender, & Health
GNDR4025: Pop Culture, Gender, & Sexuality
GNDR4036: De/Constructing Sex Differences: Intersex, Health, & Gender

Contact Information